Curtains draw on first Canadian Hino plant

WOODSTOCK, ONT– All eyes in the central Ontario community of Woodstock were on Hino Motors Canada Tuesday when Company President Hiroyuki Omori and a collection of local and Japanese dignitaries cut the ribbon to officially open Hino’s new assembly plant.

The new 132,000-sq-ft facility will produce Hino’s class 4 to 7 trucks and has a capacity of 2,000 trucks per year. Until now, Hino trucks sold in Canada were produced in California and Mr. Omori said that the new plant will shorten lead times for customers, reduce transportation costs and provide a wider range of flexibility to meet Canadian customers’ broad range of specifications.

From the time the contractors began installing the equipment in the new facility to the first truck rolling off the assembly line was a mere six months.

“We went from an empty warehouse to a working factory in six months,” Vice President and General Manager Joe Beamson told the crowd of visitors on opening day. “I still can’t quite believe it.”

Beamson admitted he was at first dubious when the work schedule was announced, but then said the company established deadline dates last November and then set a “master schedule for every day.”

“We never allowed it to go away from that timeline,” he added.

Woodstock was chosen because of its able workforce, its proximity to major arteries highways 403 and 401 and the fact that it sits in the very centre of Canada’s richest truck market. Also, the American plant is running at full capacity, and Hino’s North American sales continue to increase year over year. The truckmaker sold about 1,200 trucks in Canada last year.

The new plant will employ about 45 staff and during the early years will produce about six trucks per shift.

At the same time as the company announced the new facility, Hino execs also announced expansion of their warranty and roadside assistance programs.

For the first time ever, Hino Motors is offering five-year engine and transmission warranties as well as a free three-year Roadside assistance program.

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